Museum Notes 3-28-2019

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After the end of the Great War on November 11, 1918, veterans began to slowly trickle back to America. While many were still stationed in France and waiting to be sent home, a large group of Soldiers gathered in Paris and between March 13th and 15th, 1919, the American Legion was formed. The purpose of the American Legion was for patriotic, war-time veterans to serve their fellow veterans, especially those who were disabled or sick, championed for compensation for the disabled, widows and orphans, and volunteer in the community.

World War I veterans in Canadian were quick to organize their own post. On September 4, 1919, the local post was chartered with 45 Hemphill County veterans. In memory of two young men who were killed in action, Arthur Zybach and Benjamin Owens, the post was officially named the Zybach-Owens Post No. 56. The Canadian post had the unique distinction of having two lady members, Hattie Rathjen and Lulu T. G. Dawson who both served in the Army Nurse Corps. Dues for members were $1 a year.

As posts all over the nation were organized, state divisions were established to unify them. On October 10th and 11th, the Texas Division of the American Legion held its first State Convention in Dallas. Post 56 sent four delegates: William Crow, Edward C. Fisher, John Studer, and Rev. B.G. Taylor. At the convention, the Texas Division declared to favor the League of Nations, opposed requesting a bonus, agreed to allow women to hold post offices, denounced Bolshevism and called for the deportation of alien enemies, as well as many other veteran related issues.

On the one year anniversary of Armistice Day, November 11th, Post 56 celebrated with a dance at the Harvey House. About 150 attended, many who were in some way closely connected to the war. Prizes were given out throughout the night, and Ed Hoover Jr. received the “boobie” prize, a pacifier, for being the most energetic dancer of the evening.

The post ended 1919 with 92 members and a banquet hosted by the ladies of the WCTU.

This is one of several topics in the upcoming temporary exhibit, Canadian in 1919, ready for viewing this week.

        Owens   Arthur_Zybach

We are now open on Saturdays, 10am-2pm. So, no excuses not to stop by and see us!

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